Widening the field in the heated race for offshore wind development off Martha’s Vineyard, the state Department of Energy Resources announced on Wednesday that it has selected Mayflower Wind to enter contract negotiations to build the second wind farm in waters south of the Island.

One of three bidders in the state’s second round of offshore wind energy procurement, Mayflower Wind beat out competitor Vineyard Wind and Bay State Wind for the right to negotiate offshore energy pricing with the state.

Vineyard Wind is the only Island-based partnership in the offshore wind battle, and winner of the state’s first round of energy procurement bids in 2018. That project remains stalled at the federal level.

According to a public version of the bid submitted in early September, Mayflower plans to build an 804-megawatt wind farm 20 miles south of the Island. The company is a joint venture between Shell and the Portuguese green energy company EDP Renewables.

The selection allows Mayflower to negotiate a 15 to 20-year contract with the state Department of Public Utilities to purchase energy from the future wind farm — a long and complicated numbers game that will likely carry through the new year.

The vote to select Mayflower was unanimous. “This was an extremely strong bid, both in terms of energy procurement and pricing, as well as in terms of its commitment to economic development,” said DOER secretary Kathleen Theoharides in a conference call Wednesday. “We are really excited about the project selection — what it means for the environment, what it means for the economy, as well as what it means for the bottom line for ratepayers.”

Mayflower Wind’s selection deals a blow to Vineyard Wind, which won the right to build an 800-megawatt wind farm nearly 18 months ago and recently announced plans to develop a second 800-megawatt wind farm southeast of that project. But as Vineyard Wind’s first proposal remains mired in federal permitting issues, plans for the second project must now remain on hold as well, with the state instead opting to add a new player to the offshore energy procurement frenzy.

“While today’s decision is disappointing, we remain fully committed to delivering the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States to Massachusetts, and will continue to grow our company in the commonwealth,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars Pederson in a statement that went out after the decision. “Congratulations to Mayflower Wind on their winning bid, we look forward to working with them and other developers to engage with stakeholders across the region.”

On Wednesday, Ms. Theoharides said Mayflower, a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary based in Cambridge, offered the best combination of low-priced offshore wind energy with onshore investment and economic development when compared to offers from Vineyard Wind and Bay State Wind.

“The company is proposing to adopt a local-first supply chain strategy,” she said. “The project is very committed to ongoing funding to support initiatives that support the offshore wind industry and the economy of the south coast, and will create significant new jobs in Massachusetts.”

The state energy contract negotiation process is tied to legislation that Gov. Charlie Baker signed in 2016, requiring electric distribution companies to solicit proposals for a total of 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind development. The first solicitation granted Vineyard Wind an energy contract with the state DPU. After winning the most recent bidding request, Mayflower Wind will now have the ability to negotiate for the rest. The 1,600 megawatts committed to offshore wind makes up 12 per cent of the state’s utility demand, and would provide enough energy to power over one million homes.

Governor Baker, who has long championed offshore wind as part of his green energy platform, said the decision Wednesday marked an important step forward for getting renewable energy in the grid, and shows that the state remains at the forefront of the industry.

“With today’s announcement of additional, cost-effective offshore wind energy, the commonwealth continues to be a national leader in this industry,” the governor said in a press release accompanying the announcement. “Offshore wind is an important component of our administration’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide affordable energy options and we look forward to continuing to develop the commonwealth’s emerging offshore wind industry in a sustainable manner that benefits all residents.”

An image on Mayflower Wind’s website shows a proposed offshore cable that would run east of Martha’s Vineyard, connecting the turbines to the mainland at Cape Cod. The proposal also makes the claim that the selected 804-megawatt project would deliver “the lowest cost offshore wind energy ever in the U.S.” The state has not yet made details available about pricing for the project, although representatives from the state on Wednesday touted the low prices offered by Mayflower.

The state put out a request for proposals for the second wind farm on May 23. The RFP was revised in early August to solicit projects between 200 and 800 megawatts. The three companies submitted a total of nine bids earlier this fall. The state energy department evaluated them in conjunction with the commonwealth’s electric distribution companies: Eversource, National Grid and Unitil.

Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson said criteria used to evaluate projects included their economic benefit to ratepayers, how the project fostered development in the commonwealth and the project’s final environmental impact. Undersecretary Patrick Woodcock said there were differences between this RFP process and the one awarded to Vineyard Wind in 2018.

“I think it is an improved process from the original RFP,” Mr. Woodcock said. “We took a lot of input in the development of this RFP to reflect public comment from throughout the commonwealth and in particular the south coast. Specifically, we required additional information of the specific commitments to local economic developments.”

When Vineyard Wind won the 2018 proposal, state officials said one of the benefits of the project was its Island-based partnership with the energy cooperative Vineyard Power and commitment to providing year-round jobs, as well as a $10 million investment promised on the Vineyard. But as the project reached its permitting phase, pushback came from south coast communities who felt there wasn’t enough community development off-Island.

Mayflower Wind does not currently have a presence on Martha’s Vineyard. Its proposal says the development will bring 10,000 jobs to the state.

State officials also said on Wednesday that they hoped the Mayflower project would avoid snags at the federal level.

Late this summer, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management — the federal agency responsible for permitting offshore wind farms — said it would delay a final environmental impact statement on the Vineyard Wind project because it wanted to evaluate the cumulative impacts of all offshore wind development along the Eastern seaboard. The delay has set the project back and possibly put crucial state and federal tax incentives at risk.

“The first project, the Vineyard Wind project, was an opportunity for the commonwealth and entire region to look to lessons learned from that project,” Ms. Theoharides said. “The industry is looking to coordinate more up and down the coast . . . we are making progress from the lessons learned from the Vineyard project, and that will inform this process.”

The final acceptance of Mayflower Wind’s bid is contingent on successful contract negotiations with the state, as well as regulatory approval from the DPU. According to a timeline provided by Ms. Judson, the electric distribution companies are expected to execute contracts between Dec. 13 and Dec. 19. The final contracts will then be submitted to the DPU for final approval in January 2020.

As of 2019, the federal government has auctioned off seven offshore wind lease areas in state waters south of the Vineyard, totaling 800,000 acres of potential wind energy development. Mayflower and Vineyard Wind are the first two companies to engage in contract negotiations with the state. Along with Bay State Wind, Deepwater Wind and Equinor have also procured offshore wind leases south of the Island.

According to Mayflower Wind’s website, the company hopes to provide energy to ratepayers by the mid-2020s.

“The DOER is very excited to be moving forward in this process for our second offshore wind procurement,” Ms. Judson said.